How to Grow Tomatoes { How to Grow Tomato Plants }

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One of the first things I ever grew in my garden was tomato plants. When I was first learning how to start a garden, they were the very first plant I went with partially because they’re so easy to grow and partially because there are so many varieties of tomato plants. For our family, we grow roma tomatoes for sauces, cherry tomatoes for snacking and of course, beefsteak tomatoes for everything else. I remember being worried back then about how well my plants would turn out, but luckily, learning how to grow tomatoes isn’t hard at all and in fact; it’s quite easy.

How to Grow Tomatoes - Grab your tomato plants and let's grow! If you've ever wondered how to grow tomatoes, let me show you! They're one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden OR a pot!

 

Learning how to grow tomatoes is one of the easiest things you will do when you’re learning how to plan a garden. Whether you’ve decided to do an in-ground garden, a square foot garden or raised beds, you can grow them. They do very well in all of those plus, you can grow tomatoes in pots pretty easily too if you’re looking to learn how to start a container garden. This means that you will need to take the time first and foremost to figure out how you want to plant your tomato plants. To do this, decide which type of garden is right for you and if needed, pick up any supplies and build your DIY raised bed garden beds to get started.

How to Grow Tomatoes { How to Grow Tomato Plants }

The second thing you’ll need to do before you plant your tomato plants is to find which plant hardiness zone you live in.  This might not seem important, but if you don’t know, you could plant your tomato plants and fry them, freeze them or have them die off in another way. If your plant hardiness zone shows that you have a shorter growing season, you will unfortunately, have less seed options to choose from. If you have a longer growing season, consider yourself lucky since you’ll have far more options. Once you know what type of growing season you’ll have, decide which types of tomatoes you will be growing and buy your tomato seeds.

How to Grow Tomatoes - Grab your tomato plants and let's grow! If you've ever wondered how to grow tomatoes, let me show you! They're one of the easiest plants to grow in your garden OR a pot!

 

If you’re learning how to grow tomatoes in a pot, plant them in large flower pot or container that is at least 3 gallons in size. Tomato plants generally become pretty large so your container must be at least 3 gallons. We typically tend to use 5 gallon food safe buckets that we buy from Lowe’s since I know there will be enough room in them for our tomato plants. Make sure if you’re using a bucket or another type of container that isn’t normally used for garden plants, that you take the time to drill drainage holes in the bottom. You’ll also want to make sure you keep them at least 3″ away from other plants that you may have in the same container in order to allow them room to spread out.

If you’re planting them in the ground or if you’re planting in raised beds, start your seeds indoors using a seed starting tray with peat moss 6-8 weeks before you intend to move them outside. You generally don’t want to move them outside until after the last frost of the year. Once you move them outdoors, plant them at least 12″ away from other plants to allow the roots to spread out more and your tomato plants to grow. They will spread out more in ground than they will in a pot so you’ll need to account for that extra root growth.

The next step to learning how to grow tomatoes is to make sure you properly feed them. Ideally, you’ll want to use a homemade organic fertilizer recipe and compost you’ve made yourself. No matter what you use, making sure that it contains bone meal and blood will help your tomatoes grow stronger. Using a compost that you’ve made yourself that is rich and dark will also help you to have strong plans.

When you water your tomato plants, make sure that you don’t over water them. They should be watered until you see water start to come out of the drainage holes at the bottom. Once you see that happen, your tomato plants should be watered enough. Be careful not to over water them since doing so can cause root rot and other nasty issues you don’t want to deal with. You’ll also need to be sure not to under water them as well since doing that will starve them of the water they need in order to grow.

Once you’ve done all that and making sure you keep your tomato plants fed and watered, you will eventually have a large and bountiful harvest of tomatoes! When you bring them in you can make homemade pasta sauce with them, learn how to can tomatoes, how to make tomato powder or how to make tomato leather. Making homemade tomato paste and homemade tomato sauce isn’t hard either! No matter what you do with them, enjoy your bounty, enjoy your new way to save money on groceries and be glad that you took the time to learn how to grow tomatoes!

 

*Originally published in March 2014/Updated July 2018

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Stacy Ott

Stacy Ott is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family as well as The Genealogy Queen and a few others.By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence, and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

I earned over $100,000 blogging last year! Click here to learn how to start a blog and make money blogging!
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